HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A ceremony was held in the Mission Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday where awards were given out to the brave men and women who did their part in the community, in or out of uniform, to help save a life or protect the people of Hawaii.
Officer Kerwin Unten was given the Honolulu Police Department's third highest award, the Bronze Medal of Valor, for saving an elderly couple from a car engulfed in flames. With the help of Asher Murro, Cornelio and Lino Nolasco and Dennis Buenaventura, Unten, who was off duty at the time, was able to locate the burning vehicle. The group then smashed the windows to unlock the car doors to pull the couple out to safety.
"I'm just glad I was there at the right time and the workers called me for help," said Unten. "I'm just glad to have helped whatever I could."
Murro, the Nolasco's, and Buenaventura helped extinguish the flames. For their role in the rescue, they were awarded Civilian Certificates of Merit.
In another heroic display, Police Radio Dispatchers, Naomi Uyeshiro and Marsella Eberhardt, along with Emergency Response Operator, Susan Jay helped a 4-year-old girl save her mother's life over a stressful 911 call.
On April 18, Jay received the call from the child who reported that her mother was lying on the floor and shaking. The call was then passed over to Uyeshiro who was not able to pinpoint the child's exact location because the call was coming from a cellular phone. Guiding the child through such a stressful situation at such a young age, Uyeshiro instructed the girl to step out of her apartment so officers can find her. During this time, Eberhardt instructed responding officers to illuminate their blue lights so the girl could easily locate them. After an approximately nine minute search, the officers were able to locate the girl and rescue her mother.
Uyeshiro was awarded the Civilian Certificate of Merit while Jay and Eberhardt were awarded Letters of Commendation for their quick thinking and dedication.
Paul Morgan, a Hawaiian Airlines pilot was presented with a Civilian Certificate of Merit for helping detain a purse thief in Koko Marina back in April
Officer Lei Ann Yamada was given a Letter of Commendation for organizing Drug Recognition Expert training and certification for police instructors. Yamada's leadership and organizational skills helped all 18 students pass the course within five days.
The title of Employee of the Second Quarter Award was given to Corporal Maxie Navas who located and arrested a suspect responsible for gasoline theft. Corporal Navas also made 18 arrests, three of which were felony arrests, and issued 35 citations.
The title of Unit of the Second Quarter was awarded to District 6's (Waikiki) First Watch. The officers in this unit are responsible for making 780 arrests, including 31 felony arrests, more than 160 drinking and driving arrests and issued more than 2,200 citations. District 6's First Watch helped make Waikiki night life and roads safer, lower overall crime rate and reduce complaints.